The sports card landscape continues to be red hot with the demand creating a buzz that has not been seen within the industry since the mid to late 90’s. With this heavy demand, the interest in sports card grading has seen a major increase opening the debate over who wins between BGS VS PSA grading? As graded graded sports cards continue to hit record highs.
This has created an even larger debate over which Sports Card Grading Service to choose among the industry. Here is our BGS VS PSA Grading Guide: What Sports Grading to Choose to help you along the way.
Before you decide on what sports card grading company to grade your card or what graded sports cards to invest in. Take the time to research the various companies, learn about sports card grading, determine logical reasons why to have your card graded, and what benefits sports card grading delivers to your collection or sports card investment. In addition to this BGS VS PSA Grading guide, be sure to checkout our other grading guides including our PSA VS SGC Grading Guide, BGS VS SGC grading guide and BGS VS CSG grading guide.
Now before we get to our BGS VS PSA Grading Guide, if you are new to the sports card hobby or someone looking to learn more take the time to look at our sports card beginners guide. No further do, let’s look at BGS grading vs PSA grading guide, and what sports card grading to choose.
BGS VS PSA Grading Guide: What Sports Card Grading to Choose?
What is Sports Card Grading?
By now most sports card collectors and even sports card investors have a feel on what sports card grading is. For everyone else, sports card grading is a process where you use a professional sports card grading service such as Beckett Grading Services (BGS) or Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) to provide a numerical value to the card submitted on a sports card grading scale (1-10).
Learn more about grading by taking a glimpse at our Sports Card Grading Guide. Sports card grading has been a staple among card collectors looking to land Gem Mint 10 of their favorite rookie cards from the Junk Wax ERA to modern cards that are bringing in millions of dollars.
Sports Card Grading Companies:
For this piece we will be looking at two of the leaders in the sports card grading industry: BGS VS PSA. However, the industry contains over solid options including both Sportscard Guaranty Corporation (SGC) and Certified Guaranty Company (CGC). In addition, AI-Sports Card Grading is becoming more and more popular allowing collectors to use technology applications to deliver a potential sports card grade.
Why Grade Your Sports Cards?
The answer to this question is simple. To increase the value of your sports card and potentially making it more appealing within the sports card market. Below you will see the BGS Population report for the 2018-19 Panini Prizm Luka Doncic. Landing one of the Emergent Prizms Green or Silver is difficult and would have a huge increase in value since the two have a combined 10 total 10’s graded out of 201 graded submissions.
BGS VS PSA Grading Guide: Quick Look at BGS and PSA
Two of the biggest names in the sports card grading industry and leaders of the pack, BGS and PSA sit near the top of the throne when it comes to graded cards. While up and coming companies begin to make a dent in the market while looking to raise to the level, BGS and PSA impact on the industry and the overall value of the cards graded by those two companies make them the hands down choice. Both BGS and PSA have played a key role in the history of sports cards including playing a key role in moving the sports card industry away from the Junk Wax ERA.
For these two companies they have been at the front of the industry for a long time with PSA entering the sports card grading industry in 1991. Since entering the industry, PSA has authenticated and graded over 40 million sports cards while building a strong loyal sports card follower.
Beckett would later follow up suit after becoming a household staple among card collectors with their famous Beckett price guides. In 1999, Beckett launched Beckett Grading Services (BGS) followed by Beckett Vintage Grading (BVG) in 2001 for vintage sports cards. Since entering the industry, BGS and BVG have combined to graded over 15 million cards.
BGS VS PSA Grading Guide: Should you choose PSA or BGS for Sports Card Grading?
This is a difficult debate that you must look at a wide range of elements to help you make the best choice for your sports card grading needs or when looking to invest in graded sports cards. These elements you must choose from include the actual various Grading Scale, Grading Prices, Grading Time Frame, Sports Card Graded Slabs and Sports Card Graded Labels.
Lastly and possible the most important is actual sold price comparisons between PSA graded sold cards values and BGS graded sold card values. Before delivering our final thoughts, here is a comparison of the elements for BGS and PSA:
BGS VS PSA Grading Guide: Grading Scale
The two companies use a very similar sports card grading scale based on a 1-10 rating chart. However, the two both offer a different grading scale which can play an impact on which company you may elect to go with. For example, the ability of BGS to deliver a 9.5 grade over a graded 9 by PSA, helps make BGS cards have a little higher value, despite the difficulty of the grading scale used by one or the other company.
PSA Grading Scale
Once a company that only handed out full numbers, now offers the opportunity to land half points from cards ranging from one to nine with no 9.5 grade available. Here is PSA Grading Scale:
Poor (PR 1)
Fair (FR 1.5)
Good (Good 2)
Very Good (VG 3)
Very Good-Excellent (VG-EX 4)
Excellent (EX 5)
Excellent-Mint (EX-MT 6)
Near Mint (NM 7)
Near Mint-Mint (NM-MT 8)
Mint (Mint 9)
Gem Mint (GEM-MT 10)
BGS Grading Scale
BGS uses the standard 1-10 sports card grading scale with them focusing on their half point designation for 9.5 which PSA elects to shy away from with their grading. Furthermore, BGS also options to have subgrades added to the graded card for a higher fee or a single overall grade for a lower fee. The subgrades are graded on a half point designation while also helping determine if a card is a True Gem 9.5 or a Gem Mint 9.5. Here is BGS Grading Scale.
Near Mint-Mint (8)
Gem Mint (9.5)
True Gem (All 9.5 sub grades)
Pristine Gold Label (10)
Black Label (10).
Here is BGS subgrades:
Centering (1-10 including .5 increments)
Edges (1-10 including .5 increments)
Corners (1-10 including .5 increments)
Surface (1-10 including .5 increments)
BGS VS PSA Grading Guide: Grading Fees
Another key element that can play a role in your sports card grading decision is how much it costs for BGS and PSA to grade your card. Higher fees equal lower profits. Here is a look at BGS VS PSA Grading Fees:
BGS Grading Fees
Premium – No Sub Grades $125
Express – No Sub Grades $100
Standard – No Sub Grades $30
Economy – No Sub Grades $25
PSA Grading Fees
Economy (Value of card Less than $999) $50
Regular (Value of card less than $1499) $100
Express (Value of card less than $2499) $150
Super Express (Value of card less than $4999) $300
Walk Through (Value of card less than $9999) $600
Premium 1 (Value of card less than $24999) $1000
Premium 2 (Value of card less than $49999) $2000
Premium 3 (Value of card less than $99999) $3000
Premium 5 (Value of card less than $249999) $5000
Premium 10 (Value of card higher than $25000) $10000
Advantage: PSA for lower value cards & BGS for higher value cards
BGS VS PSA Grading Guide: Grading Time Frame
Time frame turnaround is another key element that can play a key role in deciding whether to have your sports card graded by BGS or PSA. With the heavy demand and interest in the hobby, sports card grading time frames continue to change based on the demand at that time frame. Here are the turnaround times for BGS and PSA:
BGS Turnaround Times:
Premium Submission 5-7 Business Days
Express Submission 10-15 Business Days
Standard Submission 20-30 Business Days (As of May 18th, 2022)
Economy Submission 90-120 Business Days (As of May 18th, 2022)
*All turnaround times are estimated.
PSA Turnaround Times:
Economy 90 Business Days
Regular 60 Business Days
Express 30 Business Days
Super Express 14 Business Days
Walk-Through 7 Business Days
Premium + 3 Business Days
*All turnaround times are estimated.
Advantage: PSA for economy submissions & Premium submissions, BGS for Express and Standard Submissions.
BGS VS PSA Grading Guide: Graded Slabs & Graded Labels
Another element impacting your graded sports card is the final encapsulated slab and the graded label that is featured. An encapsulated slab is the tamper proof case that the card is returned in from the sports card grading company. The graded label is the label applied within the encapsulated slab indicating the overall.
Depending on who you ask some will side with the traditional white label/red border label and encapsulated slab offered by PSA. Others will side with BGS including the four subgrades included on the graded label in addition to the possibility of landing a Black Label Pristine BGS graded sports card or silver/gold labels on lower graded cards. Here is a look at the various sports card graded labels:
BGS White Label (8 or lower)
BGS Silver Label (8.5 or 9)
BGS Gold Label (9.5 or 10)
BGS Single Grade (No Subgrades)
BGS Black Pristine Label
PSA Original Label
PSA New Hologram Label
PSA Reverse Side Label
Advantage: BGS Black Label & Subgrades, PSA Hologram & Reverse Side
BGS VS PSA Grading Guide: Comparing eBay Sales
Finally possible the biggest component on deciding on wins the BGS VS PSA sports card grading battle comes down sales price. Yes, you read that correct and that is why would you invest in any item that may have a lower impact then another item that may have a higher impact on the final selling price or investment price.
Here is a look at some eBay Sales Comps for BGS and PSA:
BGS VS PSA: 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout Base Rookie Card
BGS VS PSA Grading Guide: Our Thoughts on BGS VS PSA
In closing it is hard to give an exact winner of the BGS VS PSA sports card grading battle. Both are leaders in the industry, and both play a key impact on not only the future resale values of your sports card but also an added line of protection with tamper proof cases and other security measures. As BGS had advantages in some aspects such as with their Black Label, PSA also had advantages such as turnaround time and lower fees for lower valued cards. When you begin to look back at the history of baseball cards, or the history of NFL sports card or any other sports cards,
BGS and PSA will both be anchors among the industry and game changers to the hobby. For now, it is close with BGS getting the slight node due to their Black Label. That said continue to do your research on sports card grading based on the cards you are grading to help you make the best decision possible.
The big question moving forward is whether a company such as SGC or CGS can unseat these two companies at the top. As well as new state of the art AI-Sports grading software and smartphone AI grading companies such as the Break Stuff app.